Combatting the Negative News Avalanche

Patrick McCorkle
3 min readMar 23, 2024


The other morning, I checked some news during my morning routine. As per usual, I wanted to inform myself about politics and current events. Within seconds, I wasn’t reading about my intended topics. Instead, plastered on my screen was a headline about a mother sentenced to life in prison. This individual left her 18 month old child alone for over a week and the poor girl starved to death.

Needless to say, that really upset me. I sat for a few moments, making sure that what I had read was true. I had to overcome a horrible sense of futility and numbness.

As I prepared for work, the awful story kept coming back. How could someone do that to their own child? Not only did it partially ruin my morning, but it also prevented me from my original goal. I couldn’t handle consuming any other news, even positive stuff.

Such is the power of negativity. As the old journalism adage goes “if it bleeds, it leads.” Awful events have such a power over us. Whether we like it or not, we are drawn to them. Since we live in a capitalistic system, media companies have to make money. Therefore, due to the effectiveness of negative journalism, they are incentivized to cover “dirty laundry” as former Eagles lead vocalist Don Henley sang.

With the rise of social media and computer algorithms, websites can provide a never ending trough of negative news. We read or watch one video, then it becomes two, then three and so on. The phenomenon is known as doomscrolling, as you are literally scrolling for doom.

There’s a counter to doomscrolling known as gleefreshing. I wrote about both last year, mainly in the context of political events. I argued that it was necessary to find humorous political content in order to keep you engaged as a citizen. Otherwise, you’re forced to abstain from any news consumption at all, which I argue is a form of surrender.

Laughter is powerful and I seek plenty of it with my news these days. That’s why I’m so excited by Jon Stewart’s return to The Daily Show. When I laugh at absurdities, I refuse to allow them to dominate my life, which prevents me from falling into nihilism.

But humor isn’t enough. While laughing improves my mood and whisks away the grime of negative stories, it’s ultimately based on the fact something is really messed up. I’m simply choosing to find it funny rather than depressing. I’m not changing anything.

After I’ve purged myself of the depression and sadness of awful news stories, I need to be inspired. I need to know that there’s more to life than negativity. I consume stories that show us the bright side of humanity. How people overcome adversity and do great things, sometimes despite the awfulness around them.

There are several websites that are dedicated to positive news. The “Good News Network” especially stood out to me in my research because it’s updated regularly on a variety of topics. On, I found a story about a Pennsylvania animal shelter that had all of its animals adopted this past Christmas. I was shocked- you always hear about overcrowded shelters, especially after COVD. Yet this shelter managed a Christmas miracle of empty kennels.

I’ve now vowed to not only visit these websites multiple times a week, but I’ve also made them my homepages. Now I’ll be forced to consume a little positivity each time I boot up my computer. The more positivity I consume, the more I’ll be able to combat the endless onslaught of negativity at all levels of news, politics and current events.

I encourage you to do the same. Not only to keep you involved as a citizen, but also to brighten your day and expose yourself to the positivity amidst the hellscape that is modern news.

We deserve to feel decent, or at least neutral, while becoming informed.




Patrick McCorkle

I am a young professional with keen interests in politics, history, foreign languages and the arts.